The tone of this arts memoir is neatly set by the author's demurrer that he only offers his reminiscences about a number of classical music artists (mostly singers) at the insistence of Bill and Pat Buckley (she's ``one of New York's most elegant hostesses'') after regaling them with a Maria Callas story during a twilight cruise on their yacht. You get the idea. Chapin has already written one book about his brief tenure as general manager of at the Metropolitan Opera. How much more is there to tell? Lots, apparently, judging from his store of People-worthy anecdotes about the greats, from Birgit Nilsson (Chapin loved her) to Luciano Pavarotti (Chapin loved him) to Jon Vickers (difficult, but Chapin admired him) and so on. Chapin writes reasonably well and this might be an inoffensive summer afternoon's readamiable if low on musical nourishmentbut for the price, which is not justified by the trim size, the content, or James-Daniel Radiches's fan-magazine photographs. A coffee table volume for opera buffs with tiny coffee tables and large disposable incomes.